Ordinary Time

Sarah DeCorla-Souza

Today is a day like all other days.

Today, like every day,
I worry about time.

Today, a satellite wheels around the Earth,
a child dies of hunger on a hot dirt floor
and lacquered fingernails type a dull staccato
on a computer keyboard nineteen stories in the air.

          It’s the ceramic warmth of a coffee mug on your lips,
          the aroma of beef and broccoli on a Tuesday.

Today, at church,
it is the twenty-third Sunday
in Ordinary Time, and the priest wears
the emerald vestments redolent
of ordinariness, of pay stubs and train tickets
and Monday afternoons in November.

          It’s a crumbled newspaper in a subway car,
          the way the oven door creaks in your mother’s kitchen.

Today, you talk blandly to me of mortgages,
of the price of gasoline, of the sump pump
that needs to be replaced.

          It’s pencil shavings, paper-thin
          and spiraled like a corkscrew.

Today, I push our daughter in the swing
at the park. Right now, there is only this—
the churning autumn leaves, the tree branches
that lift as if in prayer,

this wind, this swing, this girl.

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